College Football Bowls 2013-14: Power Ranking Every Bowl by Swag Gifts

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The 2013-14 college football bowl matchups were released Sunday night, giving way to the moment we've all been waiting for: the release of the bowl gift packages.

David Broughton of SportsBusinessDaily published a full list of swag packages and now I'll break down each one and tell you which teams will be coming out on top this bowl season.

This list isn't based on wins, losses or final rankings, just what free stuff bowl participants receive. What's more American than that?

These power rankings are primarily based on the gift packages for each bowl. The more details to the gift package, the better—and non-disclosure will be punished. Creativity, style and general coolness are all rewarded.

Any ties are broken based first on bowl prestige and second on the respective vacation destination.

 

Note: All times ET, all rankings based on final BCS standings.

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Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

As Broughton wrote, the NCAA allows each bowl to give out $550 worth of gifts. There are a few more stipulations, though.

The NCAA allows each bowl to award up to $550 worth of gifts to 125 participants per school. Schools can, and usually do, buy additional packages that they can distribute to participants beyond that 125 limit. In addition, participants can receive awards worth up to $400 from the school and up to $400 from the conference for postseason play, covering both conference title games and any bowl game.

Additionally, the bowls can make their way around the $550 limit by buying items in bulk at a lower cost than they would retail.

The recliners, along with the Sony PlayStation 4 systems being given out by the Military Bowl, could cost more than the NCAA limit of $550 if bought at a retail store, but bowl committees and gift brokers can negotiate a lower rate on products because they are buying in bulk.

The leader of PAC’s sports marketing division, Jon Cooperstein, said the NCAA monitors what is actually paid for the items, Broughton wrote.

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Several bowls—18 of them, in fact—list "gift suites" and shopping trips as a part of their swag packages.

While a "gift suite" might not sound all that exciting, it is actually pretty awesome. They are essentially VIP shopping events for players, coaches and bowl personnel.

Broughton of SportsBusinessDaily noted that high-end electronics, jewelry, mountain bikes and recliners will all be present in various gift suites:

Gift suites are set up as private events prior to the game in which game participants, and often bowl VIPs, are given an order form and allowed to select a gift, or gifts, up to a value that is predetermined by each bowl, not to exceed the NCAA limit.

The gift suites are kind of a mystery, as their product lists generally aren't released. For more on what might be seen in the VIP shopping trips, click the link above.

For any bowl that lists a gift card for a shopping trip, it is important to note that those funds must be spent during that trip, otherwise they'll be forfeited. 

Since it's unknown what the players will actually end up with from shopping trips and gift suites, they'll be taken for their general value in these rankings.

One final note: Nearly every bowl lists various smaller items, such as watches, rings, clothing, luggage and footballs. In most cases, those are commemorative items featuring the bowl's logo.

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-UPDATE: Thurs, Dec. 19, 10:07 a.m.—

Here is an example of a typical gift suite, courtesy UCF assistant director of communications, Chip Fontanazza.

In this particular suite, players are shown a gamut of products including a recliner, various electronics, watches, sunglasses and more.

Each product is given a point value and each players is given six points to spend on the products in any way they choose.

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Teams: No. 13 Oklahoma State vs. No. 8 Missouri

Location: AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas

Date: Fri., Jan. 3, 7:30 p.m. (Fox)

Gifts: Unknown

 

We aren't sure what's in store for Oklahoma State and Missouri, as the Cotton Bowl elected not to disclose its gift package.

The players could be receiving $550 worth of cotton or a new Xbox One—who knows?

According to SportsBusinessDaily, participants last season received Beats by Dre headphones and an iPad mini. With that kind of haul, the Cotton Bowl would rank near the top of this list.

But thanks to the lack of disclosure, it comes in at the bottom.

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Teams: Rutgers vs. Notre Dame

Location: Yankee Stadium, New York

Date: Sat., Dec. 28, Noon (ESPN)

Gifts: Various New Era products

 

While the Cotton Bowl left its entire list to imagination, the New Era Pinstripe Bowl wasn't much better.

It only noted that its participants would receive various New Era products.

While New Era makes the best ball caps on the planet, $550 dollars would buy a lot of hats—more hats than any person would ever need.

A little disclosure would've been nice here too.

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Teams: Pittsburgh vs. Bowling Green

Location: Ford Field, Detroit

Date: Thurs., Dec. 26, 6 p.m. (ESPN)

Gifts: Timely Watch Co. watch; leather luggage set; football

 

Not only do Pittsburgh and Bowling Green have to go to Detroit for their bowl game, but they'll also bring back what might be the lamest set of gifts.

Nearly every team will leave the bowl season with commemorative gifts like watches and footballs, most will also have something like a tablet or shopping spree to go along with them.

Little Caesars Bowl participants will get a luggage set, and really no cool new stuff to put in said luggage sets.

A better gift: 110 free hot-n-ready pizzas from Little Caesars.

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Teams: Nebraska vs. No. 22 Georgia

Location: EverBank Field, Jacksonville

Date: Wed., Jan. 1, 12 p.m. (ESPN2)

Gifts: Fossil watch; Dome hat; Mercury Luggage Seward Trunk luggage set; football, Jostens ring

 

Nebraska vs. Georgia marks one of the more intriguing non-BCS matchups of the bowl season, but while the action on the field should be good, the teams won't be taking home the greatest gifts along with the experience.

Like the Little Caesars bowl, Gator Bowl participants will be sporting new luggage sets. While those might be very useful gifts, they miss terribly on the "cool factor."

To top it all off, the participants will get a Jostens ring, which is almost a slap in the face to two teams that fell short of conference title aspirations.

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Teams: Cincinnati vs. North Carolina

Location: Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte

Date: Sat., Dec. 28, 3:20 p.m. (ESPN)

Gifts: Shopping trip to Belk department store; Fossil watch

 

This is another gift that is lacking cool.

A credit line at Belk could land these student-athletes some quality gifts: new shoes, cologne, dress clothes, etc.

However, for a 20-year-old college student, a shopping trip to a department store with 100 sweaty males doesn't really make for a good time.

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Teams: Iowa vs. No. 16 LSU

Location: Raymond James Stadium, Tampa

Date: Wed., Jan. 1, 1 p.m. (ESPN)

Gifts: $150 Best Buy gift card; Fossil watch; cap; Jostens ring, Outback Steakhouse gift card

 

The Outback Steakhouse gift card is a nice cap on an otherwise mediocre gift package.

The $150 Best Buy gift card is the headliner, but several other packages come with two and three times that amount.

Another drawback of this one, like the Gator Bowl, is the ring. It might sound like an excellent keepsake, but listen to this scenario:

"Nice ring. Did you win a conference or national championship or something?"

"No, I went to the Outback Bowl."

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Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Teams: Utah State vs. No. 23 Northern Illinois

Location: Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego

Date: Thurs., Dec. 27, 2:30 p.m. (ESPN)

Gifts: $205 Best Buy gift card; Reactor Heavy Water watch; Maui Jim sunglasses; cap

 

The San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl participants will pull in a bit more Best Buy bucks than their Outback Bowl counterparts, but are still left with less than several other bowls.

To make up for it, Utah State and Northern Illinois will bring home a watch, hat and some Maui Jim sunglasses. For those unaware, Maui Jim shades are high-end sunglasses, which make for a nice gift.

The haul is solid in San Diego, but it won't ease NIU's pain after falling short of the MAC championship and a BCS berth.

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Teams: Tulane vs. Louisiana-Lafayette

Location: Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans

Date: Sat., Dec. 21, 9 p.m.

Gifts: Gift suite; Fossil watch

 

The next group of bowl packages will all involve gift suites.

Since these shopping trips are a bit of a mystery, they're all lumped together here based on their accompanying gifts.

Louisiana-Lafayette will be making its third straight trip to the New Orleans Bowl, which means it'll now have three commemorative watches from the bowl.

Outside of the gift suite, that's all there is to it.

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Teams: Ole Miss vs. Georgia Tech

Location: LP Field, Nashville

Date: Mon., Dec. 30, 3:15 p.m. (ESPN)

Gifts: Gift suite; Fossil watch

 

The Music City Bowl's gift package is identical to that of the New Orleans Bowl: a gift suite and a Fossil watch.

While the Big Easy might be a slightly more desirable vacation destination, the Music City Bowl takes the cake in the prestige factor, sending it up at No. 27 ahead of the New Orleans Bowl.

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Teams: No. 12 Clemson vs. No. 7 Ohio State

Location: Sun Life Stadium, Miami

Date: Fri., Jan. 3, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN)

Gifts: Gift suite; Tourneau watch

 

The five BCS bowls are all fairly comparable, each featuring a gift suite along with various other items.

Clemson and Ohio State will take home a Torneau watch, which will presumably be of higher quality than the other watches given out by bowls. However, without actually seeing the watch, it's tough to make that distinction.

The OB comes in ahead of the New Orleans and Music City bowls based on prestige but behind several other bowls that offer gift suites, watches and other items.

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Teams: Arizona vs. Boston College

Location: Independence Stadium, Shreveport, La.

Date: Tues., Dec. 31, 12:30 p.m. (ESPN)

Gifts: Gift suite; Timely Watch Co. watch; New Era skull cap; football

 

The AdvoCare V100 Bowl (previously the Independence Bowl) will feature possibly the two best running backs in college football: Arizona's Ka'Deem Carey and Boston College's Andre Williams.

The teams will also run through a gift suite and head home with a watch, a New Era skull cap and a football.

The skull cap will actually be useful, since many players wear them under their helmets.

Gift suite pending, this is a solid gift package.

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Teams: Michigan vs. Kansas State

Location: Sun Devil Stadium, Tempe, Ariz.

Date: Sat., Dec. 28, 10:15 p.m. (ESPN)

Gifts: Gift suite; Fossil watch; Ogio Cube backpack

 

Not only does the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl have one of the coolest trophies, it also has a nice little gift package.

On top of the gift suite and watch, BWW Bowlers will take home an Ogio "Cube" backpack.

The bag isn't listed on the Ogio website and, as I was told by an Ogio representative, that likely means it is a custom bag not available to the general public.

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Teams: No. 15 UCF vs. No. 5 Baylor

Location: University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, Ariz.

Date: Wed., Jan. 1, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN)

Gifts: Gift suite; Fossil watch; Ogio Cube backpack

 

The Tostitos Fiesta Bowl and the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl, both taking place in the greater Phoenix area, are run by the same committee.

With that in mind, it isn't surprising that they each have identical gift packages.

While the bowls are similar, they aren't created equally. Baylor and UCF will both be making their first BCS trips.

Those three letters ("BCS") put the Fiesta ahead of the BWW Bowl.

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Teams: No. 11 Oklahoma vs. No. 3 Alabama

Location: Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans

Date: Thurs., Jan. 2, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN)

Gifts: Gift suite; Fossil watch; New Era 39Thirty cap; Ogio backpack 

 

The Sugar and Rose Bowls will be giving out very similar gift packages.

The only difference: Sugar Bowl participants will take home a New Era 39Thirty hat, while Rose Bowlers will be wearing 59Fifty caps, which are decidedly nicer.

For those unfamiliar with New Era's product line: MLB teams wear 39Thirty hats during spring training before moving up to 59Fifty's during the regular season—which tells the whole story.

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Teams: No. 5 Stanford vs. No. 4 Michigan State

Location: Rose Bowl, Pasadena, Calif.

Date: Wed., Jan. 1, 5 p.m. (ESPN)

Gifts: Gift suite; Fossil watch; New Era 59Fifty cap; Ogio backpack   

 

We've already painstakingly compared the New Era headwear of the BCS bowls, which leaves the Rose Bowl ahead of the Sugar Bowl.

If that isn't enough, the Rose Bowl's reputation as "The Granddaddy of Them All" is an automatic plus-one in the power rankings.

In addition to the gift suite, hat and a watch, the teams will receive an Ogio bag to carry it all home from Pasadena.

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Teams: No. 1 Florida State vs. No. 2 Auburn

Location: Rose Bowl, Pasadena, Calif.

Date: Mon., Jan. 6, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN)

Gifts: Gift suite; Fossil watch; New Era 59Fifty Hat; Oakley Flak Pack XL backpack

 

Florida State and Auburn will be playing for college football's biggest prize, and they'll also be taking home the BCS' top gift package.

National title game participants will be sporting a top-of-the-line New Era 59Fifty and a Fossil watch. They'll also have a gift suite trip.

Sending this ahead of other BCS bowls is the backpack upgrade. The NCG specified that players would receive an Oakley Flak Pack XL, which is a sharp piece of luggage.

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Teams: Virginia Tech vs. No. 17 UCLA

Location: Sun Bowl Stadium, El Paso, Texas

Date: Tues., Dec. 31, 2 p.m. (CBS)

Gifts: Gift suite; Timely Watch Co. watch; Top of the World cap, Majestic fleece pullover; Ogio backpack; coin, Helen of Troy hair dryer

 

This is probably is the most puzzling gift package thanks to the last item on the list: the hair dryer. Long-haired players could really use the gift, while others won't have to go Christmas shopping for their girlfriend or mother.

Either way, I guess that item is a hit.

In addition to the typical gift suite, watch, hat and backpack, Sun Bowl participants will also take home a Majestic fleece pullover, which are nice. You might've seen Terry Francona wear one during his Boston days.

With a Sun Bowl logo in place of the Boston "B," that could be a classy pull for Virginia Tech and UCLA players and coaches.

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Teams: Middle Tennessee vs. Navy

Location: Amon G. Carter Stadium, Fort Worth, Texas

Date: Mon., Dec. 30, 11:45 a.m. (ESPN)

Gifts: Gift suite, RadioShack gift card; ESPN cap; Ogio overnighter bag; Big Game football

 

The Bell Helicopter Armed Forces bowl sets its gift-suite-based package apart from the rest with a RadioShack gift card.

Middle Tennessee and Navy will head down to TCU's newly renovated Amon G. Carter Stadium, which will be a cool trip.

It also appears as though the participants can use that RadioShack gift card at any time, rather than having a set shopping date.

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Teams: Boise State vs. Oregon State

Location: Aloha Stadium, Honolulu

Date: Tues., Dec. 24, 8 p.m. (ESPN)

Gifts: Gift suite; Oakley sunglasses; Tori Richard aloha shirt, Pro Athletics shorts and performance T-shirt; Ogio backpack; beach towel

 

In addition to the gift suite and a backpack, Hawaii Bowl participants will take home some Hawaii-themed items: sunglasses, an "aloha shirt" and a beach towel.

The shades are a hit and the beach towel is always useful, but the Hawaiian shirt is questionable.

Living in Boise, Idaho and Corvallis, Ore., these players likely won't need a Hawaiian shirt for another 20 years or so, once they hit their midlife crisis.

Hawaiian shirt aside, this is still a great group of gifts.

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Teams: Buffalo vs. San Diego State

Location: Bronco Stadium, Boise, Idaho

Date: Sat., Dec. 21, 5:30 p.m. (ESPN)

Gifts: Gift suite; Port Authority winter coat, Tiger Woods Nike Golf beanie, Scott winter ski gloves; iPack backpack; Big Game football

 

You might be thinking, "How can a bowl in Idaho come in ahead of one in Hawaii?"

In a word: functionality. While Hawaii Bowl participants will take home a Hawaiian shirt, Famous Idaho Potato Bowl squads will take home full winter gear: a coat, beanie and gloves.

The players from Buffalo will be able to wear these items about 300 days per year, and they'll come in handy for San Diego State players when they play northern teams next season.

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Teams: UNLV vs. North Texas

Location: Cotton Bowl Stadium, Dallas

Date: Wed., Jan. 1, 12 p.m. (ESPNU)

Gifts: Gift suite; Fitbit Flex watch; ESPN cap; football

 

Coming in at No. 2 among gift-suite packages is the Heart of Dallas Bowl, which will also be divvying out Fitbits.

To be specific, players will receive a Fitbit Flex, which is more than just a stylish wristband. It tracks the wearer's sleep and physical activity, which will be useful for athletes.

It also tracks their progress and statistics, which is perfect for a team. They can set goals and make a competition out of the prize.

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Teams: Washington State vs. Colorado State

Place: University Stadium, Albuquerque, N.M.

Date: Sat., Dec. 21, 2 p.m. (ESPN)

Gifts: Gift suite, portable mobile device charger, 8 GB USB; Oakley Breadbox sunglasses; cap, Oakley Fine Knit beanie; Oakley Flak Pack XL backpack; Gildan stadium blanket

 

Washington State and Colorado State were both on the bubble for making a bid toward the end of the season and are both likely thrilled to be going to any bowl.

They'll also be rewarded with one of the best gift packages. Along with a gift suite, they'll receive a portable phone charger, 8 GB USB flash drive, Oakley Breadbox sunglasses, an Oakley Fine Knit beanie and the same Flak Pack XL bag as national title participants.

While some bowls give out little more than a gift suite, the Gildan New Mexico is giving away a lot more. 

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Teams: Arkansas State vs. Ball State

Location: Ladd Peebles Stadium, Mobile, Ala.

Date: Sun., Jan. 5, 9 p.m. (ESPN)

Gifts: Sol Republic deck; Timely Watch Co. watch; Mercury Luggage Seward Trunk luggage bag; Wilson football

 

Now back to the gift packages that don't involve arbitrary gift suites.

The GoDaddy.com bowl won't be giving away the keys to Danica Patrick's stock car—or her heart—but it will be giving away a Sol Republic Deck.

The Deck is a very cool portable speaker that can be connected wirelessly through Bluetooth to as many as five devices at once.

The Deck makes this package, but Arkansas State and Ball State players will also take home some new luggage, a football and a watch.

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Teams: BYU vs. Washington

Location: AT&T Park, San Francisco

Date: Fri., Dec. 27, 9:30 p.m. (ESPN)

Gifts: Soundmatters wireless portable speaker system; Fossil watch; Maxx HD Wayfarer sunglasses; messenger bag; Macy’s gift card

 

Keeping in line with the portable speaker trend, the Fight Hunger bowl will hand out Soundmatters speakers. It wasn't specified which model the participants will be receiving.

BYU and Washington will also take home a messenger bag, a watch and sunglasses.

Putting this gift package ahead of the comparable one from GoDaddy.com is the Macy's gift card. Players can use this to buy a gift for themselves or someone else—and they won't have to scramble around the store with their teammates to do so.

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Teams: No. 14 Arizona State vs. Texas Tech

Location: Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego

Date: Mon., Dec. 30, 10:15 p.m. (ESPN)

Gifts: $305 Best Buy gift card; Reactor Meltdown watch; Maui Jim sunglasses; cap

 

A $305 Best Buy gift card—just think of the possibilities.

Holiday Bowl participants could buy video games, speakers, headphones and much more, and it doesn't appear as though they'll have to spend it all in a designated shopping trip.

They'll also be taking home a Reactor Meltdown watch, Maui Jim shades and a hat. 

Altogether, this is an awesome gift package.

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Teams: No. 24 Duke vs. No. 21 Texas A&M

Location: Georgia Dome, Atlanta

Date: Tues., Dec. 31, 8 p.m. (ESPN)

Gifts: Fossil watch; Russell Athletic cap; Russell Athletic bag; football, $300 Visa gift card, Chick-fil-A gift card

 

While many bowls give out a gift card to a specific store, the Chick-fil-A bowl will hand out a $300 Visa gift card, which could be used anywhere for anything—gifts, gas or even bar tabs (Johnny Manzielis 21 now).

On top of some commemorative gear, that gift card makes this one of the best gift packages out there, and the perfect one for a college student. 

As if that all wasn't enough, this one was put over the top with an actual Chick-fil-A gift card. Just typing that makes my mouth water.

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Teams: Rice vs. Mississippi State

Location: Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium, Memphis

Date: Tues., Dec. 31, 4 p.m. (ESPN)

Gifts: Sol Republic Tracks HD headphones; Bulova watch; Nike sunglasses; Nike athletic shoes and sport sandals; Nike Kevin Durant backpack; football

 

While many bowls went the route of gift suites, shopping sprees and gift cards, the Liberty Bowl seemingly just polled a sampling of college students for what they want for Christmas.

They came up with some high-end headphones, a new watch and a bunch of Nike gear—which all make gift lists for countless men aged 18-22. 

Sol Republic Tracks HD are comparable to Beats by Dre and their parts can be interchanged with different colored pieces.

The only problem: Parents of players at Mississippi State and Rice might have to return some of the gifts they already bought.

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Teams: Miami (Fla.) vs. No. 18 Louisville

Location: Citrus Bowl, Orlando

Date: Sat., Dec. 27, 6:45 p.m. (ESPN)

Gifts: $450 Best Buy gift card and shopping trip; Timely Watch Co. watch; Russell Athletic workout shirt

 

The Russell Athletic Bowl pulled the trigger on a popular bowl gift: the Best Buy shopping spree.

Players will receive a $450 Best Buy credit that they must use in the store on a set date. Theoretically, they could buy anything—even a new PlayStation or Xbox if it is in stock.

In addition to the Best Buy free-for-all, they'll take home a commemorative watch and a Russell Athletic workout shirt.

Oh, and they'll be making a nice vacation to Orlando for the holidays.

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Teams: No. 19 Wisconsin vs. No. 9 South Carolina

Location: Citrus Bowl, Orlando

Date: Wed., Jan. 1, 1 p.m. (ABC)

Gifts: $450 Best Buy gift card and shopping trip; Timely Watch Co. watch; Russell Athletic workout shirt

 

The Capital One Bowl and the Russell Athletic Bowl are both run by Florida Citrus Sports and are both played in the same stadium.

So their gift packages, highlighted by the $450 Best Buy shopping trip, are identical.

However, the Capital One Bowl on New Year's Day carries more clout than its younger brother, putting it slightly ahead at No. 7.

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Teams: Vanderbilt vs. Houston

Location: Legion Field, Birmingham, Ala.

Date: Sat., Jan. 4, 1 p.m. (ESPN)

Gifts: Samsung Galaxy Tab 3; Fossil watch; Oakley sunglasses; ESPN cap; Big Game football

 

Four bowls will be giving out Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 tablets.

The Samsung GT3 is an awesome gift and will be on millions of holiday lists this year. With four bowls handing out the same handheld tablet, they'll be compared on accompanying gifts.

BBVA Compass Bowl participants will be taking home a Fossil watch, unspecified Oakley shades, an ESPN hat and a commemorative football.

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Teams: No. 20 Fresno State vs. No. 25 USC

Location: Sam Boyd Stadium, Las Vegas

Date: Sat., Dec. 21, 3:30 p.m. (ABC)

Gifts: Samsung Galaxy Tab 3; beanie, cap; Oakley Flak Pack XL backpack; football, Zappos gift card

 

Along with their shiny new Galaxy Tab 3, Fresno state and USC players will be leaving Las Vegas with a beanie, cap, football and an Oakley Flak Pack XL bag to store it all.

Again, this is the same bag given out by the national championship game.

Giving the Las Vegas bowl an extra boost is the Zappos gift card, which can be used for shoes, clothing and much more.

This a good combination of specific gifts, as well as a little freedom with the gift card.

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Teams: East Carolina vs. Ohio

Location: Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, Fla.

Date: Mon., Dec. 23, 2 p.m. (ESPN)

Gifts: Samsung Galaxy Tab 3; Oakley Breadbox sunglasses; Oakley Status backpack; Schutt mini helmet

 

As mentioned at the top of the article, points would be granted for more specific gifts, which is why the Beef 'O' Brady's bowl comes in at No. 4.

The St. Petersburg-based bowl will be handing out Oakley Breadbox sunglasses, a very cool Oakley Status backpack and a commemorative mini helmet.

This was a well planned gift package, as the backpack has an outer pocket for sunglasses and a padded inner pocket for the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 to fit in.

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Teams: Syracuse vs. Minnesota

Location: Reliant Stadium, Houston

Date: Fri., Dec. 27, 9:30 p.m. (ESPN)

Gifts: Samsung Galaxy Tab 3; Fossil watch; belt buckle, T-shirt; Ogio backpack; lapel pin

 

Texas Bowl participants will take home a Samsung Galaxy Tab 3, a watch, a t-shirt, a lapel pin and a backpack, which is all fine and dandy.

But this package is made by its coolest item, and one of the most fitting gifts of any bowl: the belt buckle.

The state of Texas should hand out buckles at the border, but this will have to do. Sports Illustrated has a shot of the bowl's buckle from 2010.

Giving out a commemorative hat, t-shirt or football is one thing, but the belt buckle trumps all.

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Teams: No. 10 Oregon vs. Texas

Location: Alamodome, San Antonio

Date: Mon., Dec. 30, 6:45 p.m. (ESPN)

Gifts: iPad Mini with retina display, Apple gift card; Fossil watch; panoramic photo, Schutt mini helmet

 

This might spark a trivial debate with Apple haters, but the iPad Mini gift package comes in ahead of those with a comparable Samsung Galaxy Tab 3.

Putting that debate aside, the iPad Mini will come with an Apple gift card that can be used to buy accessories for the tablet or to load it up with music, books and movies.

While that won't entirely ease Oregon's pain after missing the national title picture and the BCS altogether, it will help a little bit. In fact, they can even use it to buy a highlight tape from their Fiesta Bowl win from a season ago. 

How thoughtful of you, Alamo Bowl.

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Teams: Marshall vs. Maryland

Location: Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, Annapolis, Md.

Date: Fri., Dec. 27, 2:30 p.m. (ESPN)

Gifts: Sony Playstation 4; winter hat; Ogio backpack

 

The Military Bowl had me at PlayStation 4.

Forget about entering Taco Bell's sweepstakes or throwing down a tent at GameStop to nab the most advanced gaming system on the planet.

Marshall and Maryland will just head on over to Annapolis, Md., play a football game and instantly see their productivity fall off a cliff as they are given a new PS4, which retails around $400.

The Military bowl is also providing an Ogio backpack, perhaps to carry the PS4, and a winter hat to make the trip to a "cold weather" bowl that much sweeter.

However, this one's all about the PS4—which is the best gift of the bowl season.

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